Monday, July 17, 2006

Stop the war, please. I want to get off...

Monday morning, and I’m back on the train again, heading back to work less than twelve hours after I left last night. For better or for worse, I’m under a deadline from hell that seems to be getting worse by the day, as colleagues suddenly remember that they have to send me documentation for editing (serious editing, as the documents are all written in English by non-native speakers who, for the most part, couldn’t properly format a document if their lives depended on it), so that we can send it all off to our project partner abroad.

But I digress. The train. Thanks to yesterday morning’s direct hit on the train garage in Haifa, the train schedule is completely out of whack. Last night I waited more than half an hour for a train that would take me home. It seems that there are no longer express trains – only trains that stop at every station, and they don’t seem to be running on time either. The lines have changed, the schedules are non-existent. There’s no public transportation in the north, which probably doesn’t make too much of a difference for the people living there, given that they are all shut up in their shelters. My sister-in-law lives in Haifa with her family, and they spent yesterday in the shelter at her workplace, with the kids sleeping in the protected room every night.

I heard on the news this morning that Katyushas hit the area around Afula last night. They are inching closer to our home, though still far enough away that we haven’t begun thinking about sleeping in our protected room, which is currently our home office. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was scared, scared that they will start firing missiles at our town as well. I find myself wondering whether or not the woman who runs my son’s daycare has a plan of action, and I wonder where my husband will take cover near his workplace. Should we think about spending time with friends and family scattered around the south? I have fleeting thoughts about taking my son to the US for a while if things continue to get worse. I’d rather be considered a coward and a traitor than put my son’s life at stake in order to prove a point, to show that I can stand defiantly in the face of danger.

If before this mess began we were a country of news junkies, it has now turned into an epidemic. Everyone on the train (which is now totally packed – standing room only) is either reading the news or talking about it. It permeates every aspect of our lives and there is no escape. I have a newspaper in my bag that I picked up in the station, a free newspaper put out for train commuters with morning and evening editions. Nearly every story deals with a different aspect of “the situation”, and those that don’t are equally depressing. I scanned it quickly, turning pages impatiently while looking for the Sudoku puzzle, the only bit of content that would bring me any joy. I turned on the computer instead, knowing that this would probably be the only time I’d have to blog today, and feeling like I had to write something. Any spare moments at work will be spent on the news sites, keeping track of the latest developments in this insane war we are conducting with a terror organization.

This whole situation is just so, oh, I don’t know. Insane? Crazy? Horrifying? Pick your word of choice. It is astounding to me that just one week ago, life was relatively normal as we followed the antics of Zizou and wondered whether our president had been sticking his hands in places where they didn’t belong. Purchased my ticket to Amsterdam and thought about buying an MP3 player (suggestions, anyone?). Life was essentially good. Then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, we were deep in the shit, with no end in sight. And there really is no end in sight as the missiles continue to fall and we all go into war mode. I am emotionally battered, though otherwise okay. I want to see the Hizbollah destroyed, but at the same time, I just want it all to be over. It’s been less than a week, and I am already tired of the fear, the news of the dead and wounded. I am tired of the defiant speeches given by Olmert and Nasrallah, vowing to fight until they win, while we the people are the ones running for cover. I do not want to have to know what to do if there is a Katyusha attack, and I do not want to have to placate my friends and loved ones abroad, knowing that I do not feel as secure as I am trying to sound. I am wondering when my son will suddenly say the word “Katyusha”, and I am wondering whether it will make me laugh or cry.

Stop the war, please. I want to get off.


nrg said...

Is there one of those big red buttons somewhere, like in Charlie's great glass elevator? A panic button of sorts. Or a big time out button. Push it and maybe it will all stop. If I had the power to do anything at all, I would.
Our news has been of Norwegians trying to get out of Lebanon. Busses were chartered, lists were made. Last minute arrival of Norwegian citizens caused people with only work/residence permits (like me) to get bumped off of the lists, so they were forced to stay behind. Every day I hear a new tale that I hadn't considered before and realize how far reaching and destructive war is on so many levels to so many people.
And to me it all seems useless, because I firmly believe (many would and will call it naiveté) that the solution in the Middle East will never be found with the assistance of military force. By either side. My fingers and toes are crossed, dear She. Give that boy a hug from all of us. And shelter him from the storm. It isn't cowardly, its motherhood.

RR said...

I disagree, NRG. This thing will only be resolved throught the use of military force. That's the only thing terrorists understand. We've talked and signed treaties til we're blue in the face- and it's gotten us nowhere. In fact, the situation has only gotten worse over the years. You cannot plead and reason with terrorists who only want to murder and destroy. I don't like to advocate war, but completely destroying these murdererous thugs, disabling their infrastructure, is the only way to keep ourselves (and the whole region) safe.

She, you said exactly what I've been thinking. I want Hezbollah destroyed, but I also want this terrible war over already- I hate it. I've also been thinking about going to the US (like you, I'm not ashamed one bit for considering this- my kids come first).

The IDF says they need another week or so to finish off Hezbollah-I'd breathe a lot easier if I knew that this was true.

By the way, on a sillier topic- it just hit me that when I responded to a comment you left to a post I wrote, it looked like I called you a Butthead. At the end of my response, I was thinking about how funny the word sounded, so I just typed it again- but I was certainly not calling you that! Hope you didn't thinkfI was :-)

Rampurple said...

i agree with nrg. If only that red button existed! I hope your son doesn't know and will never know the meaning of war

Ziad said...

Hi She,

Thanks for your comment on Lisa's blog. I quit blogging around a month ago because I didn't feel like doing it any longer. I still read blogs though, yours included of course :)

I hope this bloodshed ends soon.


Adrian said...

Stay well. Best wishes to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

If you need to take your son to the States then you need to do what you need to do. Stay well!

Savtadotty said...

You have a much tougher decision than I. If it's any consolation, I'm not sleeping well even though I'm in California, and it's because of my Attachment. Due back on Aug. 1

rami said...

glad to you know you're safe

damnit its about time someone puts an end to all this middle east madness

Damnthese warlords who can not get over the dark ages to find civiliased solutoins

lisoosh said...

Ipod - there really is no other MP3 player to get.
Get someone to send one to you from the states.

Liza said...

nrg: You may (hopefully) right that the solution won't be found through force, but until the extremists in the region recognize that Israel has a right to exist within sovereign borders without being attacked periodically, and until Israel realizes that collective punishment doesn't seem to be terribly effective or deterring, I'm afraid that military force will always be a tool. While I do believe that in a number of instances Israel has acted disproportionately, it is frequently as a reaction to acts of aggression carried out against its citizens. We aren't innocent, but we are certainly not as guilty as the world makes us out to be.

rr: I'm not sure if I agree, but on the other hand, as frustrated as I feel about the current situation, I believe that we did have to respond to the Hezbollah's actions, and negotiating would have gotten us nowhere. We cannot be asked to live in a situation where every now and then, Hezbollah attacks/kidnaps/murders Israeli soldiers and civilians, shoots a rocket here and there, and then we have indirect negotiations to try to return the soldiers/bodies/etc. It's inconceivable. The question of whether or not we have responded appropriately is a whole different issue, and given that I am not sure that we are really doing any damage to the Hezbollah (it seems not) while Lebanon itself is taking a huge hit, well, I just don't know how I feel anymore.

Oh, and did not notice the Butthead gaffe, but believe me, I've been called worse! :-)

rampurple: Welcome to Something Something. I think a lot of us are wishing for that button these days. I know I definitely am! thank you for your kind words about my son. If you have family, friends, loved ones, etc. in Lebanon, I hope that they are all okay.

Ziad! How great to see you again. I was shocked when I discovered that your blog had disappeared, and wondered if I'd ever "see" you again. How come you stopped blogging? There's a very strange blog in place of yours.

Don't be a stranger, and feel free to drop me a line via email, if you'd like.

Believe me, I can't wait for this whole mess to be over, though I fear that the current situation has set our region back by so many years. People talk about the bridges being destroyed in Lebanon, and I can't help but think of all the virtual bridges that have been destroyed in the blogosphere as well.


Adrian: Thanks. To you and yours as well. I'm glad you're keeping us all updated on how things are going for you, letting us know that you are okay.

Beth: Hopefully, it won't come to that, but if it does, I hope I won't hesitate.

Savtadotty: Not terribly comforting, no. At least one of us should be sleeping well! What a sad state of affairs. Looking forward to having you back among us on the 1st. Love to my future daughter-in-law!

Rami: Thanks for your kind words. We are indeed safe, at least for now, but my sanity is hanging on by a thread (though admittedly, it was never one of my strong points to begin with...).

Too right about the warlords, no matter what side they are on. The big boys play their war games, and it is we the citizens who pay the price while they remain safe. I have to say, Sweden looks very enticing these days...

lisoosh: I was thinking about the ipod, but aren't they expensive, even in the US? Believe it or not, I've actually heard mixed reviews about them.